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yajvan
09 February 2010, 06:05 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté

A key principle of brahman is bṛh बृह् (also written bṛṃh ) which means to increase, to expand, to grow great, strong; from this we get a definition of brahman as growth, expansion, etc.
As I look around I cannot help but notice this expansion in simple everyday life, let alone cosmic proportions of the Universe expanding.

A simple thing like a bicycle tire or a car tire - it looses air over time. It goes from a constrained condition ( the tire) to a open environment - the atmosphere. A river flows to the sea, it goes from a constrained environment to an open environment. Atmospheric pressures also look for the condition to equal out it pressures (iso-bars).

One may think the overall model is to go from more ( pressure) to less ( pressure), as this is a natural principle in physics. But what if it is really the notion of going from more constrained, closed, bounded to a boundless condition , to bṛh बृह् ?

Take a bee. It goes from flower to flower in its quest. If one were observing the bee, they would think it does not know what its doing flying here and there. Yet on closer inspection we see it is very purposeful as it collects its nectar, yet still going from a low area of nectar to a higher area of nectar.

What of humans? They too may demonstrate this notion. Some may say people like to go from a more 'pressured' environment ( work, school, etc) to less pressured. But one could raise the argument there are many that thrive and look for this condition of pressure and acceleration - more ~pressure~. This could be, and I do not believe this is the driving force, we must look elsewhere.

What of thoughts? Just like the bee we go from thought-to-thought all day long as if there was no rhyme or reason to them. Yet, on closer inspection we may find this bṛh बृह् again. The mind, like the bee is looking for more-and-more, to expand. It is from this expansion that ~some~ satisfaction is gained. Hence we go from thought-to-thought looking for more. We go from desire to desire with the in-born notion of expansion that is to be gained, that satisfaction is there with the fulfillment of the next desire ( a bigger home, more friends, more cars, bikes, games, vacations). Some expansion ( bṛh बृह्) occurs and for that time; it can be brief or it may be sustained for a while, some joy is experienced. This is all triggered by the natural expansion rooted in bṛh बृह् Itself, in brahman.

But what happens ? This happiness seems to have a shelf-life and it erodes over time , it is not sustainable. The mind once again starts up and begins ( like the bee) in its quest for more and more.

Where do we, like the bike tire pressure or the river to the ocean, go to finally merge with this expansive state that finally satisfies the mind's desire for expansion bṛh बृह् ?

This is where the wisdom of our śāstra-s brings great value . It knows the human model, its paradigm for more and more and it tells us: nālpe sukham asti -or- finite (alpa) things do not (na) contain happiness (suka)¹.
That is, don't look for more then the most within the relative field of life, in objects. It does not say objects are bad ( we will talk about this in an upcoming post) - it says you are looking in the wrong place if you are on a quest for sustainable peace.

This notion of sustainability is key. I can experience peace, happiness, satisfaction for a while, yet it is fleeting in one's life , no?
One's intent then is to anchor this peace, this expansion so it does not wonder or wax-and-wane - this is mokṣa.

I hope to hear other's POV on this matter.

praṇām

references
Chāndogya upaniṣad, sanatkumāra is instructing nārada with these words.

yajvan
11 February 2010, 12:07 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté



The last post offered the following notion...

This is where the wisdom of our śāstra-s brings great value . It knows the human model, its paradigm for more and more and it tells us: nālpe sukham asti -or- finite (alpa) things do not (na) contain happiness (suka)¹. That is, don't look for more then the most within the relative field of life, in objects. It does not say objects are bad ( we will talk about this in an upcoming post) - it says you are looking in the wrong place if you are on a quest for sustainable peace.

Many people on the spiritual path have the notion that they must restrain the senses. By doing so one thinks 'I will coral the senses and not get pulled into desires - which throws me off balance and is the root of attachment/bondage in this life'. This is a most noble intention yet it is exhausting, and dulling to the mind to accomplish with a high degree of success.
But why would one attempt this? It would be emulating what a person that is in Union with the Divine would experience. Just as a person who wishes to dress up like a King is still devoid of authority and power of that position - the sadhu that strains to control the senses struggles at it.

Where does the śāstra-s give us some guidance on this matter? I look to the Bhāgavad gītā Chapter 5, 8th and 9th śloka's to start. It says,
One who is in union with the Divine and who knows the truth will maintain ' I do not act at all'. In seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating walking, sleeping, breathing, speaking, letting go, seizing and even opening and closing the eyes, he holds simply that the senses act among the object of sense.

This is a quite profound insight. It is important to note that this wisdom is not a concept , something artificial, but a living reality of a person established in the SELF ( Union with the Divine).

This śloka compliments the wisdom Kṛṣṇa offers in Chapter 3, 6th verse: He who sits, restraining the organs of action and dwelling in his mind on the objects of the sense is self deluded and said to be a hypocrite. That is, if one restrains their senses, but still ponders and entertains them in one's mind, no 'control' or Self-centering has occurred.

Kṛṣṇa Says in Chapt 3, 33rd śloka, what can restraint accomplish?
The word used is nigraha and is defined as restraining , suppression , subjugation and is the key subject of this post. That is, attachment and the senses.

Here is the wisdom of the ages and is frequently passed up in conversations on spiritual practices ( upāsana ) : The attachment and aversion of each sense ( eyes, ears, smell, taste, etc) are located , or lies within the object of that sense...Bhāgavad gītā, chapter 3, 34th śloka.

For me this is most revealing - the seat of bondage ( my teachers words) does not lie within the individual but within the objects of experience.

If this is true ( and must be so as kṛṣṇa is pointing this out) non-attachment, a condition of being unclutched from the binding influence of actions and the senses, does not occur by restraint of the mind or of seeing, smelling, tasting, etc. It can only be done by the direct experience of the SELF ,Universal Being, brahman as completely 100% separate from activity - this is were perfect non-attachment resides.

At first if you do not get this , no worries, it takes a bit of time to let this sink in; but this will not occur unless some thought and consideration is applied. What allows some of the 'sinking in' is the the knowledge that all this creation is one unified field of existence and is the play and display of the 3 guna-s ( Bhāgavad gītā, chapter 3, 27th śloka).

Hence the senses and the objects the senses alight upon i.e. see, feel, hear, taste, touch are part of the same system - one unified system. Just as one gear in an engine contributes to the overall system, like that , the senses on one side and the objects of creation on the other are of the same engine - the engine of experience.

So, one needs to ask - what then binds us? We can look at this in the next post.

praṇām

yajvan
13 February 2010, 11:37 AM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté


If this is true ( and must be so as kṛṣṇa is pointing this out) non-attachment, a condition of being unclutched from the binding influence of actions and the senses, does not occur by restraint of the mind or of seeing, smelling, tasting, etc. It can only be done by the direct experience of the SELF ,Universal Being, brahman as completely 100% separate from activity - this is were perfect non-attachment resides.


How can this be ? How can one say brahman must first be experienced as completely separate from activity? Isn't brahman everything? That is this perfect Silence of the Self, and all of creation? How does this make sense to only consider this Silence? There must be more to the story, no?

praṇām

yajvan
14 February 2010, 11:21 AM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté



How can this be ? How can one say brahman must first be experienced as completely separate from activity? Isn't brahman everything? That is this perfect Silence of the Self, and all of creation? How does this make sense to only consider this Silence? There must be more to the story, no?
There is no doubt that brahman is fulless - both in Silence and in activity. Yet for us, the mind has been captured by activity. The mind is the link. As long as it is one-sided ( possessed of actions alone) it fails at experiencing Being, Silence, the fullness of brahman. What then needs to be done? to systematically remove activity and to experience Being, some like to call pure awareness - just awareness itself.

What is occuring? One is going beyond activity ( the 3 guna-s per the Bhāgavad gītā ) and becoming settled in the SELF - this simple but infinite Silence of Being.
But how is this possible? If you recall from post 1 there is the 'physics' of this universe to naturally gravitate to expansion. By allowing the mind to natually settle down it still wishes to experience more. This allows for the inward march of the mind to occur. One arrives at finer levels of awareness - less distinct and therefore more expansive in nature. This expansiveness is what attracts the mind. Going from specific to general is the direction of expansion. Perhaps an example to get a 'feel' for this notion is in order.

Let's say you have a picture on your wall. All the colors by the artist have been brushed onto the canvas. It is now specific , framed and shaped. If we went backwards in the process we would arive at the level of the paint, still in the can or perhaps on the pallet. The paint has not been applied. Going beyond the paint, we now go into the arist's thought... as we go further and further away from the finished picture, more possibilites are possible. The imagination of the artist to paint a myriad of different murals, pictures are now possible , because the paint has not been commited to the canvas. As one withdraws from the specific ( the finished painting) to the general ( the artist's ideas of what can be painted) we are less restricted - more possiblities occur.
If we contiune the inward march of this , one arrives at a field of all possibities. The field of un-applied awareness, just potential awareness not yet made active, but lively in itself. This is the field of pure Being, Pure Consciousness, Pure Awareness. It is this level of Being we are missing as a direct experince in our daily awareness that underlies all thoughts and actions. It does not have to be created, it is there. We need not add anything to ourselves, as we have this level of Being at our core already.

If you recall from post 1, I mentioned all the thoughts we have day-in-and day-out. The mind alights on thought-after-thought like the bee going from flower to flower looking for ever-more nector, as does our mind. The 'nector' is some level of happiness...Yet this is horizontal looking - thought-to-thought keeps one on the surface of the ocean. It is when it is turned inwards that the depth of the ocean becomes available.

But one must ask - Of what value is it to only experience this Being when my eyes are closed? I open my eyes , the silence is now consumed by activity once again. While my eyes are closed, the peace is there, but open the eyes and I am back into the frazzle and rush of daily life.

Lets take a look at this question in the next post.
praṇām

yajvan
17 February 2010, 08:53 AM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté



But one must ask - Of what value is it to only experience this Being when my eyes are closed? I open my eyes , the silence is now consumed by activity once again. While my eyes are closed, the peace is there, but open the eyes and I am back into the frazzle and rush of daily life.

This is in fact what occurs - but there is more then meets the eye ( as you would expect! that is going on. When one closes their eyes and settles down the mind, it goes inward , some like to use the word transcend. Some call these finer levels of awareness transcendental consciousness. Over time this grooms the mind into stabilizing the Silence that is experienced so more of this can be taken back into activity. We culture the nervous system so it can operate both within activity yet still hold that stillness of Silence within.

People have all different names for this - Establishment of the SELF, Cosmic Consciousness, Self-Consciousness, etc. It simply means one can entertain activity without the SELF of Silence being overshadowed by actions.

These words may sound okay, yet one does not 'get it' on a personal level. What does that mean , how can this happen?
Lets say you are going to an important meeting... you get in your auto and you drive. As you drive you are in traffic watch the signs, turning, stopping, accelerating, watching, etc. yet all along the way you are going over what needs to be accomplished or said at the meeting. Your mind, doing actions of driving is, at the same time reviewing the notes for your meeting. This mind-nervous system apparatus is highly evolved and can entertain multiple levels of awareness and still act. Like that one can be established in the Silence of the Self, yet still within action. The experience of Self is not lost and many call this Self-referral.

praṇām

Onkara
17 February 2010, 09:52 AM
Namasté Yajvan
This is an interesting thread which I have been following. If I may take up your offer and interject some ideas please.

The silence is known due to the noise. Likewise emptiness in a box is recognised when one recognises the walls of the box first. I feel this is what you are touching on when you refer to silence within action, when we take action to be like noise: “Like that one can be established in the Silence of the Self, yet still within action. The experience of Self is not lost and many call this Self-referral.”

Likewise it is the echo of noise which can return information on the emptiness or solidness of a phenomena in which the noise rebounds. Hence the use of ultrasound scans. What I find stimulating from this is that at this point is that duality can and does exist in the non-duality. Whilst there is noise there is silence and together they form the perceptible world i.e. duality of perceiver and perceived.

Something which fascinates me and which I would enjoy input on is that of the word of God. We know from the Upanishads and the Old Testament that God spoke the universe into existence. He said let there be light and there was light*. Brahman, according to the Upanishad is that where words recede*. We know ourselves that our words are noise. Is this silence Brahman? I say so. So what is this word of God, is it not the noise (creation) in His silence (His being). This noise bounces off the perceivable objects thus confirming the creation. The word of God is His primordial expansion. Is there more to it than that in the word of God which we can explain?

*Genesis. (http://www.bartleby.com/108/01/1.html) And God said, Let there be light and there was light.

*The Taittiriya Upanishad (http://www.realization.org/page/namedoc0/tu/tu_2_9.htm). 1. He who knows the bliss of Brahman, whence (all) words recede, as well as mind, without reaching, he is not afraid of anyone whatsoever.

Mohini Shakti Devi
17 February 2010, 10:41 AM
Snip,

your post is excellent.

Brahman is consciousness.

Krishna says in the Gita that He, Krishna is The Personification of Brahman.

And that the most confidential knowledge is that fact, and thus we spirit souls in the material world too, are made conscious of that fact. It's not in the multitudes of texts in the world; it's in the Gita where Krishna says so.

http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=39365&postcount=14

yajvan
17 February 2010, 01:33 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté snip,

you have asked some good questions.... let me answer them in a few posts instead of one post and avoid mixing too many ideas at one time.


The silence is known due to the noise. Likewise emptiness in a box is recognized when one recognizes the walls of the box first. I feel this is what you are touching on when you refer to silence within action, when we take action to be like noise: “Like that one can be established in the Silence of the Self, yet still within action. The experience of Self is not lost and many call this Self-referral.”
This notion of opposites is very good as it allows us to talk of concepts and then compare and contrast them. This silence I mention is the Silence of Being - of sattā. The wise say it permeates every-thing, the same way space or ākāśa permeates everything as it provides the canvas for all things to exist. Hence it is part-and-parcel infused in ( and the foundation for) action to occur.


Let's use the shoe box idea you mention and stretch it as far as we can. If one recognizes the walls as we must note that the space outside the box is the same ( homogeneous) as the space within the box. If I take a clay pot , it contains walls and space. If I drop the pot, what happens to the space ? It is not broken, it is independent of the pot.
Like that, the box allows us to 'quarantine' space and say it has a certain volume bounded by the box. Yet there is no bounding this space. Even the box moves within space, yet our vision is we are carrying around 'space' in the box and take it from here-to-there.

So why do I bring this up? To offer a finer-subtler point on this matter. Like the box, we're of the opinion we carry around the SELF, contained. In the beginning of our understanding this works well. Yet after recognizing the 'box' we can come to realize we are all moving within the SELF, within brahman, like ākāśa . Yes, we have height, length, width, weight, all those qualities and each reside and are permeated by the SELF/brahman. We can carry the box ( activity) and still be within the silence - the silence and space - sattā and ākāśa.

Yet here is the point to be made , and is the nature of this post. We have grown up completely aware of the box - of physical constructs.
The silence is here but our awareness faces outwards. One begins the path to re-acquaint themselves with the Silence of the Self once again.
nothing need be added as this Silence is our very being (sattā =Being, existence).

You mention the following:

We know ourselves that our words are noise. Is this silence Brahman? I say so. So what is this word of God, is it not the noise (creation) in His silence (His being).
Noise for me suggests dis-harmony , like background noise or white noise. Our words can be melodious ( sama ) or in discord. Let's for now (for this post) suggest that noise does not have a negative comparison, but is sound ( śabda) put to use. One can look at the word of God as śakti, as energy, and this becomes creation , from parā to aparā. There are many-many views of this and the people here on HDF will have multiple views on this matter.

Yet one must ask - where is this noise transmitted? Through space, ākāśa. It rests in space. Each word I type has a pause between it , a space between it. It too rests in this space. The point: this Silence allows/facilitates activity to occur. It is here, and available to us.

praṇām

Hiwaunis
17 February 2010, 06:04 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté

A key principle of brahman is bṛh बृह् (also written bṛṃh ) which means to increase, to expand, to grow great, strong; from this we get a definition of brahman as growth, expansion, etc.
As I look around I cannot help but notice this expansion in simple everyday life, let alone cosmic proportions of the Universe expanding.

A simple thing like a bicycle tire or a car tire - it looses air over time. It goes from a constrained condition ( the tire) to a open environment - the atmosphere. A river flows to the sea, it goes from a constrained environment to an open environment. Atmospheric pressures also look for the condition to equal out it pressures (iso-bars).

One may think the overall model is to go from more ( pressure) to less ( pressure), as this is a natural principle in physics. But what if it is really the notion of going from more constrained, closed, bounded to a boundless condition , to bṛh बृह् ?


Pranam Yajvan,
I have always loved your post.

If I understand correctly your are talking about that "thing" that happens after meditation when you feel as if you are somewhat outside and above your body? Sometimes you are aware of your body and surroundings and other times not (but you are aware that you are conscious). Is this what you mean by expansion?

My question is, what exactly expanded?

Namaste,
Hiwaunis

Mohini Shakti Devi
17 February 2010, 06:26 PM
)O-O(
...0...

Hiwaunis
17 February 2010, 08:02 PM
Pranam Yajvan,
I have always loved your post.

If I understand correctly your are talking about that "thing" that happens after meditation when you feel as if you are somewhat outside and above your body? Sometimes you are aware of your body and surroundings and other times not (but you are aware that you are conscious). Is this what you mean by expansion?

My question is, what exactly expanded?

Namaste,
Hiwaunis

Does jivatma expand or does the conscious expand?

yajvan
17 February 2010, 08:43 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté Hiwaunis.


Pranam Yajvan,
I have always loved your post.

If I understand correctly your are talking about that "thing" that happens after meditation when you feel as if you are somewhat outside and above your body? Sometimes you are aware of your body and surroundings and other times not (but you are aware that you are conscious). Is this what you mean by expansion?

My question is, what exactly expanded?

Namaste,
Hiwaunis

You offer one example of expansion in your post. That feeling one may get after or during meditation. A very enjoyable experience.

You ask what exactly expanded? That which goes from limited boundaries, to less boundaries - it is our awareness. For some, there is the experience of pure awareness - some will call samādhi . This brings that expansion as a personal experience, awareness settling into the unbounded.


It is the experience of aligning one's self with awareness that knows no bounds. For some it comes in different experiences - that of awareness , some have a 'swelling' of the heart - that is emotions and compassion.; this too is expansion. Another is insight - the ability to see deeper and wider (innocently) into an idea, concept, etc.

It's as if one goes from a small room to a very large room or to a mansion - there is that whoosh experience for some. The transformation or change of vāstu ( dwelling-place , habitation) to larger surroundings ( like being outside in the forest, or a palace, etc) can bring this natural feeling of expansion.

For brahman , it is the natural condition of expansion say the wise. My teacher used to talk of waves of joy he would experience, just from small things, that joy is the natural state and little things brings waves more of it i.e. expansion. Does this occur for all? I cannot say.

praṇām